This month Bailey’s Bodies is nutrition month and we will be addressing the questions I get asked often. One of the most common questions I encounter is, how much protein do you need to eat?
Everything we eat can be broken down into three main macronutrient categories:
- Carbohydrates — the body’s primary energy source, easily broken down and converted into fuel
- Fats — provides required vitamins and nutrients that are essential for a healthy body
- Proteins — are the building blocks of the body, used for repairing and building muscle
Today I’m only going to focus on what protein is, and why we should be eating more of it, but a healthy diet consists of a good combination of carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins.
At times, based on your specific weight loss or training goals, you may need to alter your intake of macronutrients to help your body achieve what you’re after. One of the main macronutrient alternations that we work on is increasing the protein, and decreasing your carbohydrate intake.
As I mentioned above, carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source. The body uses this energy for exercise, movement, heat regulation and internal bodily functions. However if you’re consuming more energy than you’re burning, the body will store this energy as body fat. It might only be a little extra food each time, but over weeks, months, years… it starts to add up.
When promoting weight loss, we’ll instruct you to limit your carbohydrate intake. Obviously this is a very simple overview of it, and we’re skipping over the details for different types of carbohydrates, but any weight loss program is built around the reduction of carbohydrates in your diets.
This can lead to an issue however: hunger pains!
This is where the benefits of protein really start to shine. Everyone should already be eating proteins to help facilitate muscle growth and repair, but when you’re on a low carbohydrate diet, you really need to increase the amount of protein you’re consuming. Protein doesn’t have the same impact of calories that carbs do, but it does help you feel fuller for longer, and no one likes to feeling of hunger pains, especially when you’re trying to lose weight!
Your body might not have it’s default carbohydrates for an energy source, but it will switch over to alternative options: burning body fat!
When it comes to losing weight, this is exactly what we’re after! Your body will naturally start to use body fat as it’s energy source and this is what will help you lose weight.
There are many ways to lose weight such as high intensity boot camps but the most important thing is to reduce your carbs and boost your protein intake.
Proteins are the building blocks of the body, used for repairing and building muscle
Those of you who have trained with me will undoubtedly experienced that body soreness in the days following a hard workout. Some soreness is to be expected but the moment you’ve finished your workout, you need to be focused on the next important detail, which is recovery. The sooner you recover, the sooner you can train again.
When we push our muscles hard, we cause tiny, micro tears in the muscle fibres. These are perfectly normal and part of what’s required to increase your muscle mass, but in order for your body to repair those micro tears, you need to provide it with good quality protein.
So, do me a favour and try to increase the protein in your diet. Every meal should be include a good quality, lean source of protein such as:
It’s a complex topic, and we’re only just scraping the surface today. We’re holding a free nutrition seminar that’ll get into the details of why you need to eat more protein. It’s an important part of training that people often ignore, so please come to the event!